Infantry and other personnel on the front lines participate in increasingly realistic-combat role-playing exercises before they are deployed. Marines, for example, take part in Realistic Urban Training, an exercise designed by a Hollywood-based, special effects company that uses actors and explosions to recreate combat settings. Servicemembers put their skills to the test as they conduct raids and rescue injured comrades, while dodging rocket-propelled grenades and insurgent fire. Native Iraqis play the roles of both civilians and insurgents. In some situations, servicemembers must communicate in Arabic in order to clear a house or reassure civilians. The training is essential for troops who must make split-second decisions when they patrol towns. The training also helps them silence instinctual reactions of shock when they see their comrades with traumatic injuries. Instead, they learn to keep focused on their mission: to eliminate the threat and treat the wounded.
Marines encounter role-playing insurgents, hostages, IEDs and RPGs during a Realistic Urban Training exercise.
Urban training exercise simulates situations that Marines could face during a deployment.